After Saturday's antics at the MAD Club Champs and the post-Champs night out, it was decided that a later start would be more appropriate today, with a plan formulated to hit Crone wood for a run up Maulin and Djouce (following the IMRA Powerscourt Ridge route) with a bike session in Djouce to follow.
And so, on a spectacularly crisp morning, myself, Jackie and Mel laced up and started up the fire break. The view from Maulin extended for miles, with not a cloud in the sky, and the frosted ground was good underfoot. I thoroughly enjoyed the descent to the river, but loathed the climb back up to Djouce. After checking out the lovely Mountain Meitheal work at the top, it was off the brakes again and down to the bottom. Had a really interesting experience here, whilst bounding from tussock to tussock, a gust of wind took me mid-leap and blew me into a vaguely horizontal orientation. My first engineless flight :-) The long grassy stretch down towards Djouce wood was a welcome opportunity to stretch the legs and enjoy the negative gradient before the last drag up to Ride Rock. Then the suffering began....I just hate running down smooth trails...I don't know why, it just messes with my body. It was all I could do to hang on to the 2 girls and not crumble into a heap at the side of the trail to be laughed at by the walkers...
At that stage, it would have been pretty easy to jump in the warm cars and roll home, but we were only halfway through the adventure. Summoning up enough motivation to go back out into the cold, it was a short jaunt around to the top of Djouce wood, to take in some of the best trails in Ireland. And they are riding amazingly well these days! Almost bone dry, they seem in better condition now than July. A midweek return trip may be required :-)
All in all, 4 hours of exercise, 3 tired and hungry bodies, 2 activities and 1 fantastic day.
Can I have some more please?